FIVE secondary schools have warmly welcomed a healthy donation of over £15,000 of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) equipment from ExxonMobil’s Fife Ethylene Plant to kick-start the new academic year and both Beath and Lochgelly High Schools have benefitted.

In what promises to be a very unusual first term back after months of home schooling, the FEP plant, at Mossmorran, stepped in to provide a helping hand to local schools with one of the biggest single donations it has ever made.

The schools which will benefit are Beath, Lochgelly, Inverkeithing and Kirkcaldy High Schools, and Woodmill High in Dunfermline, which suffered a devastating fire last August which destroyed a large part of the facility and resulted in pupils having to attend other schools in the area until repairs were carried out to the damaged classrooms.

The plant liaised with STEM teachers, at the schools, to come up with a shopping list of equipment which would be a key part of the schools’ STEM curriculum.

This week the schools took delivery of dozens of projection cameras, storage cabinets, scientific calculators, safety glasses and dozens of stationery sets, as well as copies of the periodic table.

The huge consignment, of more than 5,000 items in total, were delivered to the schools by Brian, Callum and Harris, hardworking members of team FEP who understand the importance of STEM subjects in schools.

Steven Ross, Rector of Beath High School, said: “Our thanks go to FEP for this very generous support.

"This will be a very different school year than usual and this extra help will certainly be put to good use.”

Fife Council’s Head of Education and Children's Services, Maria Lloyd, welcomed the contribution to Fife's high schools adding: "This resource will be a real boost to all the schools that are benefitting.

"Our young people will put this equipment to very good use to support their learning.

“Thank you to ExxonMobil for its generosity.”

Jacob McAlister, plant manager at Fife Ethylene Plant, said: “We have long supported local schools with a focus on important STEM subjects and we are proud to be able to help out in what are very challenging times for everyone.

“This contribution forms part of our ongoing local education programme which we are continuing to develop with some exciting new initiatives.”